The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) today announced a five-year agreement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Janssen) to collaborate on focused research projects in the infectious disease area, with the initial project targeting the influenza virus. Under the agreement Janssen will receive certain license rights to the results of the research.
Janssen Pharmaceuticals will collaborate in the research on influenza through its Crucell Vaccine Institute.
“We’re delighted to partner with Janssen in this work that could have a significant impact on human health,” said Michael A. Marletta, president and CEO of TSRI. “The new agreement leverages the institute’s significant strengths in structural biology to move forward new therapies and vaccines.” Scott Forrest, TSRI’s vice president for business development, added, “This deal is the latest example of our corporate partnership strategy, in which we seek focused collaborations to match companies’ specific areas of interest with areas of expertise among multiple TSRI labs.” The new agreement builds on research on the influenza virus conducted jointly by TSRI and Janssen’s Crucell Vaccine Institute. Previous collaborations have resulted in several high-impact publications, most recently in August 2012 in the journal Science.
Seasonal flu typically causes more than 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths every year in the United States, according to estimates by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Pandemics pose a greater danger-the Spanish Flu of 1918-1919 may have killed 50 million people worldwide.
The new strategic collaboration with Janssen follows TSRI’s announcement of a five-year agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb last June; that agreement covered the development of chemistry methodologies and related work.
Forrest notes that promising future areas for corporate partnerships at TSRI include Oncology, Neurodegeneration and Immunology.